The May NPD sales numbers are in for the US, and the results may surprise you. On the hardware side, the number one selling console, for the fifth straight month, was the PlayStation 4. While the PS4 and Xbox One were obviously still in high demand, other consoles were not slouch either. “Much of May 2014’s hardware growth was due to Xbox One and PS4, there was also year-over-year growth for the Wii U, and PS Vita,” said NPD analyst Liam Callahan. Neogaf calculates that the Wii U’s software sales were nearly 60k, an 85% increase compared to 2013. The Nintendo 3DS was the second best selling hardware.
Software sales bore quite a few surprises. Number one, to the shock of no one, is Watch Dogs. Ubisoft’s new IP sold over 1 million in it’s first day, and the sales momentum continued from their. In at the number two spot was Mario Kart 8. This is incredibly surprising as Mario Kart 8 was only out for TWO DAYS in May. The positive word of mouth will likely lead to high sales numbers for June as well. In third we find the PlayStation exclusive MLB 14: The Show. This marks the second PlayStation exclusive to crack the top three this year, joining Infamous Second Son from March.
Places fourth through tenth are as follows: Wolfenstein: The New Order, Minecraft, The Amazing Spider-man 2, NBA 2K14, Titanfall, Kirby Triple Deluxe, and Call of Duty: Ghosts. The most shocking of all of these is to see the 3DS exclusive Kirby Triple Deluxe cracking the top ten after a relatively quiet launch. Callahan spoke about the software sales, saying “Collectively, May 2014 launches sold 800 percent more in dollar sales than May 2013 launches did their respective launch months. New launches represented 50 percent of dollar sales this month, which compared to only 9 percent for new launches in May 2013.”
Nintendo released a Direct today entirely focused on Mario Kart 8. The direct can be seen in it’s entirety above, but I’ll give you give you the key points here. The biggest take away from the Direct is that their will be a Wii U bundle featuring Mario Kart 8, a 32 GB Wii U, a Mario Wii-motion plus WiiMote, and a red racing wheel for $329.99. On top of this deal, Nintendo is offering those who buy Mario Kart 8 (either in retail, digital, or with the bundle) between May 30th and July 31st, can recieve one of four games for free. These games include Wii Party U, New Super Mario Bros U, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, and Pikman 3.
More light was shed on the online portion of Mario Kart 8 during the Direct as well. Their will be up to 12 player races, full voice chat, and feature four different modes for their matchmaking: worldwide, regional, friends and tournaments. Tournaments will be able customized and set for specific times and dates during the week. Players will also be able to share videos through a new service called Mario Kart TV.
Mario Kart TV will function a lot like theater mode in the Halo franchise, where the most recent 12 races will be saved, with the old being shuffled out as new races are raced. If you have a race you really love you can save it to your favorites and it won’t be shuffled out. Clips, which can be edited down to 30, 40, or 60 second , can be posted to both the Nintendo Miiverse and Youtube. Miiverse posts can be entire races, though Youtube will only allow for 60 second or less clips.
Mario Kart 8 is ramping up to it’s May launch with an all new trailer that shows off just how good a Wii U game can look. Mario Kart 8 is stunning graphically. There is no other way to put it. Seeing what I think is Rainbow Road in glorious HD is something I never knew I needed so much, but I doubt I’ll ever be able to go back from it.
On top of the gorgeous graphics, the trailer showcases the game’s new items, including turning to Chrome and using the Piranha Chomper as a battering ram of sorts. Of course how else could Nintendo really showcase just how good the Wii U is but with strong mustache physics, and Mario bounces gently as he takes bumps and goes back as he goes faster. You can see more mustache physics yourself when Maio Kart 8 launches exclusively on the Wii U on May 30th.
Nintendo did a long Direct today to talk about this Spring’s Wii U and 3DS games. You can watch the Direct here, if you are more for words I have you covered below. Any games with available trailers are hyperlinked in their names.
We started the show off with the reveal of Little Mac being a new fighter for Super Smash Bros Wii U and 3DS. He will come with a power-up meter which allows him to gain a KO punch over time. Could this be OP? Maybe. We’ll have to see when Smash releases later this year.
Mario Golf World Tour‘s singleplayer mode called Castle Club was detailed. You play as your Mii and can customize him/her with different clothes clubs and balls. Each of those clubs and clothes combos give you different abilties. The Castle Club will allow you to sharpen your skills before taking on friends. Coming to the 3DS on May 2nd.
Kirby Triple Deluxe was shown next. Iwata went into detail on how each ability you absorb can do multiple things. Like the horn-head allows you to carry an enemy with you on the horn. Their are new collectibles called key-chains in the game, and they can be gained through Street Pass as well as in game. Coming to 3DS on May 2nd as well.
Yoshi’s New Island features no level timer, tho if Baby Mario gets away you have to save him in time. Yoshi can also get transformation that allow him to gain wings or become a jackhammer (not joking). It launches on 3DS on March 14th.
A new free-to-play Steel diver game called Subwars was revealed. It’s a first person shooter style submarine battle game. It’s a free-to-play game that gives you two subs to begin with, and a premium version giving you the complete 18 subs. The free version seems like a mere trial if anything. Available now on 3DS eShop.
Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball is a free-to-play minigame collection which gives you one game to start, and then you can buy the remaining ones. Interestingly, you can haggle with the game for a lower price. You can haggle by talking and by offering items you earn in-game. It launches on the 3DS eShop in April.
Pokemon Battle Trozei announced for the 3DS, and it is seems a lot like a Candy Crush Pokebattler. It features up to four player online play, and coming to the 3DS on March 20th.
Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy is Emmy’s final adventure with the Professor. They have added a Street Pass function which allows you to get treasure you otherwise couldn’t. Coming to the 3DS on February 28th.
Monster Hunter 4: Ultimate is coming to the 3DS in America in 2015, and will feature four player online co-op.
You can manage a weapon shop inside an RPG in Weapon Shop de Omasse. You craft the hero’s weapons and armor, and if you screw up, they likely won’t survive their quest. Coming to the 3DS eShop on February 20th.
Inazuma Eleven, the much loved soccer RPG, is on the 3DS eShop right now.
Treasurenauts, Shovel Knights, Moon Chronicles, 1001 Spikes, and Retro City Rampage all coming to the Nintendo 3DS eshop.
Child of Light, the Ubisoft platformer RPG, is coming to the Wii U eShop on April 20th.
Nintendo showed off the launch trailer for Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, and it features DK riding a Rhino into a tornado. It’s coming to the Wii U on February 21st with leaderboards.
New footage of Monolith’s new Wii U exclusive codenamed X was shown. It featured a fight where players battle a small monster on foot, and then seamlessly jumped into a mech to fight a much bigger monster. No release date or window was given.
The final game shown was Bayonetta 2. In the new trailer we see that you may be playing as a new character, at least for a little while, during the game.
It was an impressive overall Direct, but once again lacked in the Wii U department. Yes we saw more from Smash, and X, but their were no real release dates, no new titles, and no hype for the fledgling console. The 3DS on the other hand got a ton of great games, and I’m probably going to be buying both Kirby and Mario Golf on the 2nd of May. What did you guys think of the Direct? Let me know in the comments below!